Issue(s): Sub-Mariner #36, Sub-Mariner #37
It's Lady Dorma and the Sub-Mariner's wedding day, and it'll end in tragedy, but let's enjoy it while we can. Namor seeks the minor deity Proteus - often invoked in Atlantean oaths but appearing for the first and last time in these issues - to officiate at the wedding.
Namor's in such a good mood he sends Triton to the UN with a message of peace, not that there are any takers.
Attuma tries to ruin the festivities with some Octo-meks...
...but that's just your typical villain-attacks-a-wedding routine, easily stopped by Namor with some help from Karthon the Questor, who shows up with the Lemurians for the wedding.
The real danger is Llyra, recently revived by her mother.
Llyra changes her shape and replaces Lady Dorma, so that Namor ends up marrying the wrong woman.
Namor heads out to locate and rescue Dorma, but he's delayed when Attuma renews his attack on Atlantis.
Llyra also uses her control of sea creatures to slow Namor down.
Ultimately, Dorma is killed by an explosion triggered by Llyra.
We also learn this issue that the Atlantean scientist supporting character Ikthon was a traitor working for Attuma.
Obviously a dynamic issue with some serious repercussions, and that's commendable at a time when this comic felt like it was stagnating. There's nothing wrong with Ross Andru's art, but the earlier issues of this series drawn by John Buscema and even Marie Severin just seemed a lot better.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Triton next appears in Amazing Adventures #5 referring to his actions in this arc.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (20): show
This is Ross Andru's first regular Marvel series after spending years at DC doing war stories, Wonder Woman, Metal Men, Superman, Flash, etc. He would later return to DC as an editor, but I don't think he ever drew for them again.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 13, 2011 1:20 AM
One thing always bothered me about this story- Llyra almost kills Namor by commanding leeches to attack him. So Namor can withstand bullets as well as punches from the Hulk or Hercules but isn't leech-proof?
Posted by: Michael | February 20, 2013 7:51 PM
Added some scans of the various sea creatures that Llyra sends after Namor.
In-story, maybe Llyra's control of the creatures also somehow enhances them.
On a meta level, there's a sort of genre rule being applied here. It's like how Thor and the Asgardians are similarly bulletproof but back in Asgard swords and arrows are a potentially deadly threat.
I prefer the in-story explanations (Asgardians are super-strong so arrows shot by them have super-force) but it definitely exposes a challenge inherent in a shared universe.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 21, 2013 9:17 AM
Didn't Kurt Busiek always argue that Thor was not bulletproof? That you always see him swirl his hammer to deflect bullets, rather than them actually bouncing off him?
Posted by: S | February 21, 2013 2:18 PM
Yes. And it's completely confusing as to whether "normal" Asgardians are bulletproof. In Avengers 20, the Enchantress tells Eric that his gun won't work against an Asgardian, but in Thor 393, Hogun is shot by policemen.
Posted by: Michael | February 21, 2013 7:46 PM
I guess that means the Enchantress was bluffing?
Posted by: S | February 21, 2013 11:45 PM
That's one possibility (my bad, that scene was in Avengers 21, not 20) but I'm not sure what Marvel's current take on the Asgardians being bulletproof is.
Posted by: Michael | February 22, 2013 8:00 AM
I guess it's probably better to say that these guys are bullet-resistant rather than proof. Namor also typically avoids bullets instead of standing arms akimbo like Superman when getting shot; i imagine that a lucky or strategic shot could hurt him. It was, i believe, the incident in Black Panther where Thor got shot in the head with a high-powered sniper rifle that started the racmu discussion with Kurt Busiek. Hogun was riddled with assault rifle fire in an enclosed space. Probably Erik Josten's hand gun would have had little effect on the Enchantress.
None of this refutes Michael's original point that these characters often are shown to have inconsistent abilities, nor (i hope) mine that it's done for "literary" reasons: the idea (whether you agree or not) is it should be possible for Namor to be hurt by sea monsters to make his undersea adventures interesting, and Thor should be vulnerable to swords and such during his swords & sorcery adventures, but when both come to Earth they should be treated like the God-like super-beings that they are.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 22, 2013 12:19 PM
Berni Wrightson was originally announced as working in tandem with Gil Kane on this title.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 23, 2013 7:13 PM
In Christopher Priest's Black Panther Thor is at one point shot in the head by a sniper. Blood is drawn, and Thor keels over, only to get up a few minutes later.
Posted by: Berend | January 4, 2014 12:18 PM
Artie Simek really rocks that "Dormaaaaaaaa" wail in the last scan, though.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 1, 2014 2:47 PM
Bullet resistant skin but not Leach resistant?
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | April 20, 2017 1:30 AM
Between Dorma dying and Ikthon turning traitor and vanishing from the supporting cast, it feels like Thomas was clearing the decks for some reason. It's especially blatant given that Ikthon doesn't seem to have much of a motivation for going bad.
Also,m it's kind of cool that the Atlanteans are common-sensical about the wedding rules. But then, any ceremony officiated by Proteus would probably be wise to shapeshifters' tricks.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 4, 2017 7:43 PM
Ikthon resembles Zantor, an Atlantean scientist villain from the 1966 Sub-Mariner cartoon. He was bald, wore red wraparound glasses, and had a long white beard. He sought revenge on Namor for exiling him from Atlantis. It may be Ikthon was modelled after him, and the revelation here was always intended.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | April 28, 2018 8:42 PM
I can accept the fact that Thor gets hurt a lot, especially in Asgard. But Namor is actually supposed to be STRONGER underwater. I agree neither one should be bullet-proof; but it would take some major Llyra-enhancement to pump these leeches up to the point of knocking out a fully-hydrated Namor. In any event, the Llyra Method obviously does more for leeches than it does for sharks and giant crabs, because even at a 34:1 leeches-to-sharks ratio they shouldn't be a bigger threat. Numbers wouldn't be the way to go; maybe it's all that skeleton that keeps sharks and giant crabs from enjoying the full potential of some nice Llyra juice. You go, leeches! Sure'd like to see Llyra working on jellyfishes, that'd cause some nasty stings.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 28, 2018 10:43 PM
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